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Economic Ethics

(1,931 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. History – II. Problems and Themes I. History As reflection on the lived ethos, ethics has since Antiquity also considered economic participation, as it touches on ethos, as an essential component of ethos. Aristotle restricted economy to securing household autarchy, from which commerce was distinct; and, insofar as it produced money from money in transactions involving interest, he rejected it ( Eth. Nic.

Consequence/Inherent Consequences of Actions

(588 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] Every action has inculculable inherent consequences, and even its actual consequences are only partially foreseeable. This is due to the fact that action originates from a presence of action within this world, whose restrictions govern the impact of its effects. By choosing one of several available present possibilities of further becoming, action transforms this poss…

Servum arbitrium

(1,165 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics M. Luther’s insight into the servum arbitrium (“unfree will”) is at the heart of his Reformation ontology of created personhood (Person). Its core content is recognition of the radically passive constitution of the conditions that make it possible and necessary (unavoidable) for an individual to will self-consciously and freely (Freedom: VII) – that is, rationally and responsibly – and to act accordingly. These conditions are (a) the “being affected” of the individual’s

Generation Contract

(1,108 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] In the broad sense, the generation contract entails every sort of responsible provision and consideration by one generation for the subsequent generations. Every generation is dependent on the acquisitions and savings of its predecessors and assumes the responsibility for the future well-being of its offspring through its own acquisitions and savings. This applies not only to assets, but also to forms of social life, educational and cultural background of whatever origin (both psychological [intellect and character] and social) as well as natural resources. In the narrow sense, the generation contract refers to the arrangement according to which each older generation contributes financially to the following one (in its childhood and youth) and, in turn, each younger generation to the preceding (in its old age: II). All societies in which the elderly and the incapacitated are not simply excluded exhibit such arrangements (cf. the commandment to honor one's parents in Deut 5:16). The arrangement always covers four generations: (a) the not yet gainfully employed children who are being reared by (b) those in gainful employment in the expectation (although not for the purpose) that these will contribute to their livelihood in old age, just as they now contribute to the livelihood of (c) the no longer gainfully employed old people, who themselves contributed to the livelihood of (d) their parent generation in the period of their gainful employment. Any arrangement of this kind presupposes the unbroken continuity of the generation cycle and the persistence of the arrangement itself. Serious threats to the generation contract therefore arise from the disruption of, or from fluctuations in, the sequence of the generations or from a breach of the arrangement. Both can be the result of various factors (histori…

Option

(347 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] For persons standing on the ground of the (externally or personally chosen) realized situation of their own personhood, in their pragmatic present, there are still determinations of their own being to be made, and in each case they must make a choice. It is always a matter of effective physical behaviors…

World

(7,847 words)

Author(s): Cancik, Hubert | Figal, Günter | Herms, Eilert | Worthing, Mark
[German Version] I. Religious Studies 1. Cosmos a. There are various ways of expressing the concept of the “world” in Greek and Latin: as the world as a whole, with the bipolar hendiadys heaven and earth (e.g. Diodorus Siculus I 7.7); as the wor…

Goodness of God

(1,251 words)

Author(s): van den Brink, Gijsbert | Webster, John | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Dogmatics – III. Ethics I. Philosophy of Religion In philosophy of religion, the divine bonitas is considered from a metaphysical, a theological, and a moral perspective. In its metaphysical sense “goodness” is a transcendental term, i.e. a concept that transcends every ontological category. As such, goodness is co-extensive with existence: to exist is a good in itself. However, not everything that exists has being and goodness in the same degree. The quality of goodness and being in perishable material objects is…

Sovereignty

(970 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The term sovereignty – as defined by J. Bodin after antique and medieval precursors – does not denote a legal title but a social reality, the reality of an effective social power to preserve external and internal peace in the territory over which it holds sway, a “commonwealth.” The term itself implies its peculiar mode of operation: recognition of its bearer as possessing the coercive power ( vis) necessary to assure sufficient compliance internally with the laws it issues, to make appointments to office and vest them with authority, and also to…

Fontane, Theodor

(771 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] (Dec 30, 1819, Neu-Ruppin – Sep 20, 1898, Berlin). Fontane's parents were from Huguenot families. From 1850 he worked with the Literary Cabinet of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, in 1852…

Temptation

(2,036 words)

Author(s): Frenschkowski, Marco | Arneth, Martin | Feldmeier, Reinhard | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Temptation is a theologoumenon of many religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It arises in the presence of free will when evil makes its appearance as fascinating, enticing cajolery, often in…

Elite

(1,367 words)

Author(s): Münch, Richard | Jödicke, Ansgar | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Sociology – II. Comparative Study of Religions – III. Ethics I. Sociology “Elite” – from Lat. eligere “to elect” – designates a select group of persons who stand out from the crowd by virtue of distinctive features such as consanguinity, age (Old age), power, wealth, knowledge, technical, organizational or artistic skills (Competence), education (Education/Formation) and the …

Necessity

(3,951 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences In the natural sciences, necessity usually appears as an implication of causal natural laws (Natural law/Law of nature), according to which by necessity an event A as a cause must be followed by an event B as its consequence. This necessity implied by laws of nature is not undisputed. Empiricism, which goes back to D. Hume, rejects the possibility of human insight into necessary causal connections, preferring to replace the concept of causal necessity with that of…

Dogma

(2,847 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert

Culture State

(808 words)

Author(s): Germann, Michael | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Law – II. Social Ethics I. Law A culture state is a state that takes responsibility not only for the security and freedom of its citizens, but also their cultural concerns (Culture), nota bene, for ¶ the sake of its own cultural conditions. Legally, the culture state expresses itself in part in determinations of the objectives of state (clearly in art. 3 I 1 of the 1946 Bavarian Constitution: “Bavaria is a legal, cultural and social state”), otherwise in the establishment of the state education system, especially in the public school (Compulsory schooling) and university, in the preservation of cultural heritage, in the active promotion of the arts …

Public Choice

(438 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] The expression public choice denotes the central theme of a debate concerning social ethics – or, more precisely, the ethics of government action. This debate has been carried on the United States since the late 1950s and has also reached Europe: What ethically grounded constitutional principles provide a criterion for the scope and nature of governmental legal decisions (formal and operative) in questions of justice? Nozick recommends a purely negative policy: government decisions s…

Apologetics

(9,615 words)

Author(s): Usarski, Frank | Horst, Pieter W. van der | Dan, Joseph | Lüdemann, Gerd | Skarsaune, Oskar | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Church History – V. Islam – VI. Fundamental Theology – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Missiology I. Concept The necessity – felt with varying intensity by different communities of faith – to lend credibility to one's own convictions, ways of behaving, etc. in the face of other, perhaps dominant worldviews, using appropriate means, is an essential element of the history of religion. When the term apologetics is used in this context there is a certain conformity in content w…

Technological Ethics

(252 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] is the branch of ethics that examines the advantages and disadvantages of technological development and applications of technology. Its central themes are: compatibility of the application of certain technologies with human dignity, the preferability of competing possibilities of technological development, questions of justice in the distribution of benefits and burdens generated by a technology, compatibility with the common good, especially in the long term, and the preferabilit…

Professional Ethics

(247 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] the fformer theoretical concern with the ethos of individual classes or estates (nobility, officialdom, citizenry, clergy; estate cf. Ger. Standesethik) has given way to concern the ethos of certain vocations or professions; and this only to the extent that for such groups the general public still has certain basic expectations of behavior and performance, whose fulfillment is directly linked to the provision of professional services – for example, in the case of clergy, doctors and caregivers, admi…

Two Kingdoms Doctrine

(2,873 words)

Author(s): Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Dogmatics A discussion of the two kingdoms doctrine that wants to avoid mistakes must note two things. ¶ 1. The expression two kingdoms doctrine – like the doctrine of justification – is a product of reflection on the later designation of complexes of theological doctrine that were unavoidable even before this name was given them, because they deal with elements of the certainty of faith that are inescapable in any coherent explication of faith. The label two kingdoms doctrine, however, is not a product of the 16th century but of the debates in German Lut…

Teaching Office of the Church

(4,631 words)

Author(s): Pahud de Mortanges, Elke | Germann, Michael | Köhler, Wiebke | Herms, Eilert | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Law 1. Catholicism. Within the total structure of the church, the teaching office is the court of final authority for preserving, transmitting and interpreting the faith. The teaching office stands under the Word of God (Vatican II, DV 10: magisterium non supra verbum Dei, sed eidem ministrat), and perceives its task as constantly involved in interaction with the other ecclesiastical witnesses ( loci theologici) to the Word of God. Consonance with all other courts and organs of the church is shown in the church’s reception (II) of decisions by the teaching office. Such reception, however, has no significance for their own validity: the authority of the teaching office does not rest on delegation or legal ratification by believers. However, reception or non-reception constitutes a significant legal factor. Holders of th…
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